Blank front page highlights paper’s importance

Most likely you noticed something different about this week’s front page: it was blank. 
 
The Messenger, along with more than 200 newspapers across Minnesota reminds Minnesotans of the important role that newspapers play. We are publishing no news on our front pages. This “Whiteout” is taking place during Minnesota Newspaper Week, August 13 to 19, a part of the Minnesota Newspaper Association’s (MNA) yearlong celebration of its 150th Anniversary.
 
“In many communities across the State of Minnesota, the newspaper is the main source of local news,” said MNA Executive Director Lisa Hills. “Newspaper journalists across the state attend city council and school board meetings, they cover town festivals and local sports teams, and they arrive on the scene to document history during natural disasters and other community challenges. We know newspapers play an important role.”
 
The occasion is so important, that Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed a proclamation honoring it.
“Minnesota Newspaper Week is a statewide initiative that reminds individuals of the importance of a free press,” reads Dayton’s proclamation. “Freedom of the Press promotes a well-informed constituency, improves public policy, increases responsiveness and accountability, and enhances public confidence in governmental institutions.”
 
This day in age, with so many different types of media, a large percentage of Minnesotans still rely on the tried and true methods of news delivery. A 2014 Scarborough readership survey found that 89 percent of Minnesotans accessed a newspaper in print and/or digital format in the past month. Minnesotans of all ages read Minnesota newspapers in print and online. It’s no wonder that in a state where many read their local newspaper, the population is also civic-minded and involved in activities like voting in local elections. According to state officials, more than 81 percent of registered Minnesota voters cast ballots in the November 2016 election. That’s just under 75 percent of eligible Minnesotans.
 
Attention! New Subscribers!
 
I want to bring to your attention a sale for NEW subscribers that you will find on Page 2 of this issue. It is our Back to School special. If you take out a new subscription and use the coupon, we will include an additional six months free to your 12-month subscription! Don’t hesitate! This offer doesn’t last forever!